Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

European Single Procurement Document and eCertis

European Single Procurement Document and eCertis

The European Single Procurement Document (ESPD) is a self-declaration form used in public procurement procedures by public buyers and businesses in the EU. Before the introduction of the ESPD, companies were required to submit various documents to prove that they fulfil the exclusion and selection criteria of a tender, for example have paid taxes and have not been convicted of criminal activity. Now, companies are able to meet these obligations with a single ESPD self-declaration form. The actual documents will only have to be provided by the winner of the tender. The ESPD service is also integrated with eCertis - a mapping tool used to identify and compare certificates requested in public procurement procedures across the EU.

Video of European Single Procurement Document

ESPD services are now widely available in the EU. A regularly-updated but non-exhaustive list can be found below. National services are often integrated with other systems such as eTendering services, national databases, and prequalification systems. As such, they might support buyers and suppliers by filling in the ESPD automatically. Almost all national ESPD services have benefited from EU funding.

The role of the European Commission’s ESPD service was to support the uptake of this tool during the initial phase. The Commission’s ESPD service will be phased out in April 2019. The obligation to use the ESPD remains in force however. It can be met by using national ESPD services.

There are five possible ways to use the ESPD:

  • ESPD services in EU countries
  • Free ESPD service provided by the European Commission (until April 2019)
  • ESPD data model, which enables integration of the eESPD service into national e-procurement solutions/pre-qualification services
  • Open source version of the first option, i.e. of the eESPD service. The open source version is compatible with the ESPD data model and some elements can be adjusted to take into account national needs.
  • Virtual Company Dossier (VCD), which allows the buyers to handle the eESPDs (like the first option) and the tenderers to benefit from an automated filling-in of the eESPD.

The ESPD and eCertis play a crucial role in the digital transformation of public procurement. They contribute to EU countries’ transition to full e-procurement, significantly reduce administrative burden and simplify access to cross-border tendering opportunities. The full potential of the eESPD will be reached when tenderers will provide links to repositories, which hold data proving their compliance with the exclusion and selection criteria. In this way, the eESPD will act as a “business passport” for companies bidding for tenders anywhere in the EU.

Documents and links

Infographic: What is the ESPD?
Infographic: What is the ESPD?
Infographic: How the ESPD works
Infographic: How the ESPD works
Infographic: e-Certis
Infographic: eCertis